It will sound a bit strange but data centers are also responsible for carbon emissions. According to a new report, various data centers in Hong Kong city of China alone produced 9.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide last year. This was equivalent to carbon added to the smoke emanating from about 2.1 cars running on the road. Data centers store digital information like email, photos and videos. But these data centers consume 3 to 5 percent of the total global electricity worldwide. Not only this, they also compete with the airline industry in terms of carbon emissions. Due to carbon emissions, the global temperature is increasing continuously with each passing year. Data centers have also joined this list among factors like coal, pollution, vehicle smoke.
Chinese data center world’s largest digital world
According to a report by Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University, China’s data center industry is the world’s largest digital world. Not only this, it has consumed 2 percent of the electricity of the entire country alone in the past year. China has overtaken the US in the field of renewable energy due to its solar power projects. But despite this huge potential of green energy, most Chinese data centers do not use it.
Climate expert Yu Ruiqi of Greenpeace says that about three quarters of China’s electricity comes from coal plants. Of the 44 data centers we surveyed, only five were using solar energy. China’s data center industry is dominated by domestic giants such as Alibaba and Tencent.
16.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2023
As the country with the world’s largest population, the demand for data storage in China is increasing rapidly. The authors of the report estimate that China’s data centers will consume more than two-thirds of the energy in five years’ time. In 2023, China’s electricity consumption will be 267 teravot hours. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions are also expected to increase from 9.9 million to 16.3 million metric tons. This increase is equivalent to the carbon generated by the smoke emanating from 35 million vehicles.
Currently China’s data centers rely on 73 percent of coal, 23 percent of renewable energy and 4 percent of nuclear power for their electricity supply. If China increases renewable energy by 30 percent by 2023, 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions can be avoided, according to the Greenpeace organization. This is equivalent to the carbon generated from 10 million round-trip trance-Atlantic air flights. Microsoft and Amazon are also aiming to run their data centers with 100% renewable energy. In a blog post in April, Microsoft President Brad Smith said that the company is aiming for 70 percent clean energy by 2023.
Source: Patrika : India's Leading Hindi News Portal by www.patrika.com.
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